A sentence that has been coming out of the mouths of Thornbury cyclists for years is, “someone should open a bike shop here.” And that’s exactly what new Thornbury resident Darren Smith thought.
Words and photography: Colin Field
“We found ourselves living on Bruce Street,” says Smith. “Last summer when we got here, I was looking at people going by our porch and I was going, ‘Man, there’s a lot of cyclists here. And there’s no bike shop.’ Ding, ding, ding. This is my new second career and I’ll have some fun doing it.”
Smith spent over 35 years as a bond broker on Bay Street and fell in love with cycling in the early 2000s.
“I didn’t even have a bike and some guy dragged me on a San Juan hut tour out in Durango, Colorado,” says Smith. “He said, ‘you’re getting a bike and you’re coming with us.’ And then I just fell in love with the sport.”
“Man, there’s a lot of cyclists here. And there’s no bike shop…”
Since then Smith has gone riding with Lance Armstrong and competed in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race in the Colorado Rockies. Smitty’s Bike Shop is right downtown on Bruce Street, north of Highway 26.
An Opus dealer, the bike shop will also be selling bikes from Kind Human, a Toronto-based company that offers custom bikes (paint, size and componentry are completely up to you). Smitty’s will sell complete bikes, parts, accessories and he’ll have a fleet of rental bikes. The shop will also feature a café, with coffee and a juice bar staffed by his daughter.
“I’m just trying to have some fun with this,” says Smith. “Trying to keep it with what Thornbury is, you know? A small, boutique, vintage kind of bike shop.”
If you’re one of those cyclists who has said this town should have a bike shop, Smitty’s is set to open May 1.